So, you’re excited about getting that new super-thin cell phone that takes photos and holds 100 songs, are you? Oh puh-leeze… that is SO mid-March, 2009. I’m guessing your family also plays games on giant cardboard squares with dice and tiny pieces of plastic you have to move by hand. How positively ancient!
The newest cell phones allow you to watch American Idol or Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. TV phones are everywhere. In fact, Samsung is working feverishly on an even more futuristic cell phone that can, “feel, think… and reproduce” and have “artificial chromosomes.” (I’m suddenly feeling very uncomfortable about doing or saying anything in the vicinity of my ultra-modern cell phone. Still though, I must keep it – otherwise, how would people know that I’m still cool?)
Of course, cell phones are just one aspect of our lives where we feel the need to continually upgrade, refine, add-to, etc. But it doesn’t stop there. When’s the last time you shaved using a razor with less than three blades without feeling like you’ve slighted yourself from getting the closest shave possible? I’m guessing that some time in the next six years we’ll have a ten blade razor called “The Decathalon” which will shave you so close that a doctor will be required to be on stand-by with an I.V. and blood bag – just in case.
Couldn’t we incorporate the latest technologies into church? We could offer live services to anybody with a cell phone! Get the full interactive church experience with overlaying graphics of the pastor’s sermon notes right there on your display! Download the worship lyrics and use your hands-free setting as you listen and raise your hands in worship! The offering? Surf the web and tithe using PayPal or your debit card! Use text-messaging to send an exuberant “amen” or “preach it” to the pastor when he says something you agree with! Send prayer-requests to the elders via T.M.! It’ll be the Ultimate Cyber-Praise Church!
Okay, it’s a ludicrous idea. But then, through the centuries many believers have come to the conclusion that ludicrous ideas make Christianity “better.”
“You can’t believe in tongues and attend our church.” “You can’t attend our church unless you believe in tongues!” “If you don’t believe in full-immersion during baptism, then you are not truly a Christian!” “Only the King James Version of the Bible is inerrant, all others are abominations!”
Some elder church congregation members and church boards push their influence to keep only pastors that agree with their way of thinking. “Preach all you want about the sins of adultery, murder and the like – but if you somehow make us feel uncomfortable by preaching against gossip, vanity, or greed, we’re voting you out for being too judgmental!”
Let’s face it, some things in life don’t need upgrades. The perfect church will never exist – modern or not. However, God and His word are perfect… and always will be. Any changes to something that is perfect immediately makes it imperfect.
So does that mean that God is antiquated? Can He NOT work through forward-thinking churches trying to keep up with the lifestyles of their congregations? Of course not. We may have giant screens, the latest worship tunes, Wi-Fi access for laptop users in the sanctuary, and offer premium coffees, cappuccinos, and lattes during each service, but the truth of God’s love, peace, grace, wisdom and sacrifice is still there… still modern… still perfect.
You’ll have to excuse me now. I’m working on my own ultra-cool cell phone idea. It will have email, take photos, hold 8,000 songs and full-length movies, have artificial intelligence, and contain a multi-blade razor. It’ll enrich the lives of millions who want to simultaneously reach out and touch someone while watching TV, downloading MP3s and getting a baby smooth close shave.
I tried creating a phone that wouldn’t lose its signal… but some things just aren’t possible.